Intel details MacBook-destined Broadwell 14nm chips, should ship by holidays

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Apple has been developing some revamped Mac laptops for several months and years, such as an ultra-slim 12-inch Retina MacBook, and the key to shipping these products is the availability of Intel’s upcoming Broadwell chip. Why? Because the new 14nm Broadwell Core M chip is fanless, small, and according to Intel, the most energy-efficient Intel processor yet. These facts about the processor lineup directly with the rumors of a fanless and light MacBook. Today, Intel has disclosed some new key points about the Core M Broadwell processor:

  • The combination of the new microarchitecture and manufacturing process will usher in a wave of innovation in new form factors, experiences and systems that are thinner and run silent and cool.
  • Intel architects and chip designers have achieved greater than two times reduction in the thermal design point when compared to a previous generation of processor while providing similar performance and improved battery life.
  • The new microarchitecture was optimized to take advantage of the new capabilities of the 14nm manufacturing process.
  • Intel has delivered the world’s first 14nm technology in volume production. It uses second-generation Tri-gate (FinFET) transistors with industry-leading performance, power, density and cost per transistor.
  • Intel’s 14nm technology will be used to manufacture a wide range of high-performance to low-power products including servers, personal computing devices and Internet of Things.
  • The first systems based on the Intel® Core™ M processor will be on shelves for the holiday selling season followed by broader OEM availability in the first half of 2015.
  • Additional products based on the Broadwell microarchitecture and 14nm process technology will be introduced in the coming months.

Notably, as Intel executives hinted earlier this year, Intel is still on track to ship out chips in time for new products to hit this holiday season, and it seems likely that the new 12-inch MacBook will be one of the first major computer launches with the new processor. Intel says that increased availability for the Broadwell processor will occur in the first half of 2015, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect various other new Macs (perhaps MacBook Pros or Airs) with more powerful Broadwell chips to hit the market during that timeframe next year.

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Mega Review: The absolute best portable Bluetooth speakers you can buy

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TL;DR: Overall winner (updated), Best Value, Best soundBest Portable/Sound, Charger tooApps/Updates, more

Spring is finally here and it is time to bring our music and speakerphones outside. There’s no better way to enjoy sound outside than with a portable bluetooth speaker. But as Jordan noted to me during our CES coverage, there must be 100,000 Bluetooth speakers to choose from including a growing horde of no name brands OEM’ed from fly-by-night Chinese companies.

We’re here to help you pick the right speaker with the right features on the right budget. (Update: We’ve since reviewed the JBL Charge and Bose Soundlink Mini, both of which merit attention.) Read more

Hitachi G-Speed series drives and enclosures deliver professional-level reliability and performance

This is a sponsored post

Until recently, I merely thought of Hitachi as the company that builds the OEM hard drives that are found in some Apple and other high end PCs.  It turns out that Hitachi makes very high quality enclosures for those same hard drives that companies like Apple demand for their machines.

Hitachi’s drives that range from the G-Drive portable hard drives (which I reviewed earlier this year, above) to the newer G-Speed for high end A/V professionals.  Take for instance the G-Speed FC XL, shown below:

The SAN Ready G-SPEED FC XL offers industry leading Fibre Channel performance and easily supports multi-stream ProRes, uncompressed HD and 2K Film video editing work flows. A 16-drive G-SPEED FC XL connected to a dual-channel 4 Gbit Fibre Channel host bus adapter will pump out over 550 MB/second to support the most demanding post production environments.  Upgrade mini SAS model,  back panel below, and expect up to 800MB per second.   That’s uncompressed 60 frames 1080P with room to spare and virtually unlimited space for drives with its stacking functionality.

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